Nothing beats the feeling of having your family all under one roof, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, the Holidays, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or whatever brings your family together. One thing I know for sure is that people need to be fed. When our family gets together at the farm for Christmas, it seems like we are in a never ending cycle of cooking and cleaning up, which takes forever because my mother has never had a dishwasher. In between, we sneak a few games of cards with gin and tonics, watch Christmsas Vacation (which most of us can recite from memory), drink Bailey’s then go sliding down the hills that surround the farm. It’s all pretty casual, then there are the really special unspoken traditions. We all have a secret competition each year to see who can make mom cry the most with that ‘special gift’. My youngest sister and her man always take a crazy Christmas photo to give to us as Christmas Cards. Then there’s that 45 minute drive to attend midnight mass in the nearest small town, listening to Santa updates on the radio (even though we are all over 15 now, my kids included) and watching for northern lights in the night sky. I guess I’m getting nostalgic here because this year our family is staying in Calgary this year, but we’ll be making traditions of our own.
Shared here in this round up are some of the traditions that Alberta bloggers, Ginni (The Spicy Eggplant), Heather (Heather’s Eats), Cynthia (Cynful Kitchen), Merry (Merry About Town), Cassandrea (Chews and Brews), have grown up with and are passing on to their own families. So, grab your rum ‘n’ nog or coffee and Bailey’s, and settle in for a good read!
Starting the roundup off with a bang is Ginni (The Spicy Eggplant) (who is and always will be an honourary Albertan, even though she has moved on to Ontario) and her ultra boozy Mincemeat. Honestly, I had no idea that there was so much brandy in mincemeat, I may have to give this traditional pie filling another look.
Learn how to make ultra boozy mincemeat here.
This delicious and unique spin on mac ‘n’ cheese is food blogger Heather from Heather’s Eats special tribute to her mother. Maple Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the perfect dish to serve on a gloomy day when you need a warm hug.
Find the recipe for Maple Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese here.
Cynthia Priest (Cynful Kitchen) spent a day with her Oma in law (German grandmother) learning how to make this traditional Lebkuchen (Pfefferkuchen). You may need some special ingredients to make these spiced gingerbread cookies but the end result is worth it.
Learn to make Lebkuchen here.
Merry from Merry About Town remembers late night family baking sessions featuring these Magic Cookie Bars. They are easy to assemble with a house full of late night company or to have all to yourself when everyone else is in bed.
The secret to Magic Cookie Bars here.
Some families bake together and some preserve together! Cassandrea (Chews and Brews) and her family get together in the fall to make this Tomato Salsa…it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Spice up your Christmas table here.